too many lines too long

Tuncer Ayaz tuncer.ayaz at
Tue Nov 10 11:31:46 UTC 2015

On Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 11:51 PM, Richard Eisenberg <eir at> wrote:
> At both school and at home I can fit 3 80-character buffers side by
> side, at a comfortable font size. Going up (even to 85 cols) would
> mean losing a buffer. (Or straining my eyes.) Of course I can deal
> with wrapped lines. But I still vote for 80 characters as a target,
> while allowing people wiggle room to miss this target.
> The number 80 is with us for historical reasons, but I know I'm not
> the only one who still routinely uses 80-column buffers.

It's not just for historical reasons, it's one of those things that
turned out to be a reasonable convention:

Regardless of the width of windows, it's easier to read limited-width
columns. I may be part of a sub-group, but just like a newspaper, I
find it easier to "eye-scroll" up and down than left and right. This
is the major reason why limiting column width still makes sense.
Unless, of course, it's just a few lines, or things that cannot be
limited due to technical reasons. I don't know if 120 is too wide, but
100 might be okay.

Also, changing the length while touching a line is the most natural
way to do it, as white-space reformatting patches, unless done
once-only-for-everything-and-never-again, will be noise and make
things like git-bisect harder to use.

A width limit also is a nice way to alarm you if you start nesting too
much :).

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